The desire of having a child encourages the infertile couple to take the help of assisted and artificial reproductive techniques. IVF is one of the most sought artificial reproductive techniques in the entire world, which has helped millions of infertile couple to fulfill their dreams of having a family. If you consider giving out a try to IVF, then you must know the IVF process in order to be aware of this popular technique.
What is IVF process?
IVF is a type of artificial reproductive techniques in which the gametes are fertilized outside the body in the laboratory. The process is ideal for the couples who failed to conceive naturally since last two years. In this process, the eggs and sperms are retrieved from the couples after simulating the hormones. Then the gametes are fertilized in the Vitro means glass in the laboratory. Then the fertilized egg or the newly developed embryo then transferred into the uterus of the woman in order to help her get pregnant. The gynecologist then notices the signs of pregnancy like dizziness, nausea, vomiting and morning sickness in order to confirm the pregnancy. The IVF processes can be depending on the type of infertility and can be classified as follows:
- Basic treatment: This basic treatment include just one IVF cycle in which the gametes of the couple fertilized in vitro and then placed in the uterus after the fertilization.
- Advanced treatment: In this advanced treatment, the couples can take the help of sperm and egg donors which will ultimately increase the overall cost.
- Additional treatments: Sometimes, the couples have to take additional treatment as per their infertility issue including the ICSI, freezing embryo transplant, PGS and tube reversal.
Important steps a single IVF Cycle
The first step towards the IVF treatment is to consult with one of the best IVF specialists who will recommend the accurate type of IVF treatment based on the issue of infertility.
1. Diagnosis of type of infertility
After consultation and physical examination, the IVF expert will make further diagnosis including the ultrasound, laparoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging and many other tests. A proper diagnose of infertility is essential before selecting the right treatment. Your selected IVF clinic should be well-equipped with all the modern equipment for diagnosis the accurate type of infertility. During consultation, the will also ask important questions about the previous pregnancy, time of infertility and many others.
2. Egg retrieval
Once the ovarian follicles are developed, an injection is given to induce final maturation of the eggs. Then after 36 hours the egg retrieval process is scheduled. The timing of this injection is very important for the IVF process. The egg retrieval process takes place in a special room where the ovarian follicles are drained and the fluid is sent to the laboratory to collect eggs. Then the eggs are collected from the follicles with gentle suction with the help of ultrasound images and special needles. The patient has been operated with an IV catheter and is under the sedation and pain medication during the entire process.
3. Sperm Retrieval
The male partner will be scheduled to collect fresh semen sample on the same day of egg retrieval. If necessary, the sample can be frozen for back up and can be thawed and sued to inseminate eggs for further IVF cycle.
4. Fertilization in lab
Laboratory is the important place where the entire IVF process happens. The laboratory technicians then introduce the sperms collected from male partner’s semen to the eggs drained from the ovarian follicles. The fertilization takes place under the microscope and in the glass. The gametes then keep for up to 36 hours to notice the signs of fertilization. Once the egg is fertilized, then the embryo is kept aside to gain a blastocyst culture.
5. Embryo transfer
Once, the embryo is fertilized and become a blastocyst, the fresh embryo is then transferred into the uterus with the help of catheter. This is the last step of IVF process and might be the most emotional and exciting part of your IVF cycle. Unlike the egg retrieval, this process does not need any sedation and anesthesia. Then with the help of ultrasound, the gynecologist will then use a fine transfer catheter to move the embryos through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. Once the embryo is transferred you will rest on your back for 30 minutes to one hour in the recovery room. Your doctor will recommend you to take a rest of 24 hours before resuming your daily routine.
6. Pregnancy tests
There is generally two week wait between the embryo transfer and your first pregnancy test. You will notice the early signs of pregnancy like nausea, morning sickness, dizziness, but these signs cannot determine the positive pregnancy until to go to the clinic for a blood test to determine the pregnancy. If the test is positive, then you will stay under the care and guidance of your fertility team until you are ten weeks pregnant. They will monitor constantly monitor your developing pregnancy until you are ready to transfer your care to general OB. If the pregnancy test is negative, then you need to consult with your IVF expert in order to take next steps. Some couples and doctors wait before trying again, while some patients immediately resume the IVF treatment.
Additional supported treatment based on infertility
Sometimes, the couple needs additional treatments along with a general IVF cycle. The IVF expert will recommend one of these treatments based on the type of infertility. Besides, the couples can also take these treatments in order to increase the success rate of their IVF treatment.
1. Donor services
Donor services exist for the patients who failed to provide gametes. You can take the help of egg donors or sperm donors in order to assist for your IVF treatment.
It is essential to treat male infertility. Testicular sperm aspiration is a process to retrieve male semen to collect sperms for the IVF process.
With the help of intracytoplasmic sperm injection the success rate of IVF treatment is increased. There are many couples who selected this option with their IVF cycle. In this process a single sperm is injected into the eggs to form embryo.
4. Frozen embryo transfer
The transfer of frozen embryo has ultimately increases the success rate of IVF process. The experts say that a frozen embryo has higher chances of adapting the human body than the fresh embryo.
5. PGS or PGD
The pre-implantation screening is necessary for couples who have the history of genetic disorder. Your IVF expert will recommend you to undergo this special screening after the process of fertilization.
When the couple wants to outsource the uterus, then this service plays an important role. In surrogacy, the fertilized embryo is placed inside the uterus of another woman who is paid to carry out the child until birth.
It is necessary to take all the information about the IVF process in India before actually undergoing on it. With the help of collecting important knowledge on the IVF, you can make yourself mentally prepared to give it a try. Lastly, the IVF process can be emotional and you need to deal with lots of stress and anxiety. You need to be prepared to take the help of your spouse or your beloved friends before going through the IVF process.
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